Air pollution in almost all the City Centre areas covered by TARA is above the safe health levels set by the world health organisation and adopted by the British Government.
We are pressing BANES implement its Air Quality Management Plan with much greater urgency.
The reduction of NOx and small particulates needs to be set as a key objective of any strategy. There needs to be more monitoring of small particulate pollution in the city centre canyons such as Broad Street where there is residential housing.
Any strategy needs to be based on realistic assumptions and well researched forecasting rather than wishful thinking about technological progress and radical changes in peoples’ behaviour.
For Bath to remain a vibrant and successful city we need people to come into the city centre and for the foreseeable future a large number of those journeys will be made by diesel and petrol driven vehicles. This is particularly true in the light of the failure to implement the previous transport strategy.
These vehicle journeys need to be managed better. People need to be encouraged to park out of town if possible and this requires the provision of good park and ride facilities near all the approach routes of the city. These need to be accessible to people when they need them so consideration needs to be given to extending the hours of operation.
Goods vehicles should wherever possible be incentivised to use out of city freight consolidation hubs.
Low emissions zoning can play a role in increasing the rate of uptake of both out of town parking and less polluting technology.
However, for the foreseeable future many people will, for a variety of reasons, continue to drive into the city centre and they need to be directed as efficiently as possible to adequate off street parking so that they do not circle the city’s streets adding to pollution by the sort of stop start driving this inevitably involves.
The loss of off street parking through the demolition of Avon Street multi-story will make together with the failure to provide proper park and ride provision to the east of Bath will make the situation considerably worse and is likely to substantially drive up pollution levels in the short term.
Urgent consideration needs to be given to replacing the Avon Street provision.